We're still some way away from getting compact VR headsets that tap into cloud VR services via 5G, but for now, HTC has cooked up something that will let standalone 6DoF kits take advantage of a PC's processing power. In early Q4 this year, the Vive Focus Plus will gain a new feature dubbed Viveport Streaming, which gives it access to all Viveport content on a PC over a 5GHz WiFi connection. This means with that free update, the Vive Focus Plus will effectively double as a wireless headset for any VR-ready PC. The catch? You'll need to be a Viveport Infinity subscriber to enjoy such convenience.
To set up, you'll obviously have to log into the same Viveport account on the headset and the PC, and then connect both devices to the same 5GHz WiFi network. Then it's just a matter of hitting the "PC Stream" button on the headset's main menu, and from there you'll be able to launch your desired Viveport PC apps the same way as native apps.
According to HTC, Viveport Infinity currently offers over 2,000 VR titles for PC and mobile combined, which is about ten times more than what the Vive Focus Plus' Viveport M store has. This also means that with Viveport Streaming, you won't have to wait for a port to try a PC VR title on your standalone headset.
This isn't the first time HTC has pushed the PC-to-headset wireless streaming concept. With the original Vive Focus (also a 6DoF headset but with a single 3DoF controller instead of two 6DoF), the company tried to promote a third-party paid app called VRidge, but I never saw a smooth demo at HTC's events. On the other hand, Viveport Streaming is said to offer much better performance, and it should be more intuitive with its seamless integration plus automatic connection.
Viveport Streaming will be showing up on more Vive Wave-based full-6DoF headsets, namely from the likes of Chinese VR hardware startup, Pico, and Chinese video platform, iQiyi. Until then, it'll be interesting to see how this streaming feature fares against the native VR experience, especially when there's still the Vive Cosmos to look forward to.